Walk In Kamal’s Memory

Charity walk in memory of Kamal Aftab

Work colleagues, family and friends of a popular Huddersfield community  worker who died of cancer last month are to pull on their walking boots  to help keep his memory alive and raise money for his chosen charity.

Kamal Aftab, aged 32, of Almondbury died two months after being diagnosed  with acute myeloid leukaemia.  A big charity worker, he set about  raising thousands from his hospital bed after his diagnosis , for  Bloodwise, the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research charity.

Each year his work colleagues at Huddersfield-based Valli Opticians  organise a 10-mile charity Valli Rally. This year the family friendly  walk is being held in his honour in a bid to get closer to the £50,000  target for Bloodwise, set by Kamal and supported now by his family.

The  walk on Saturday, September 19 takes in Valli’s four Huddersfield stores in Meltham, Honley,  Almondbury and Lockwood and finishes with a traditional Yorkshire tea  party and music from Yorkshire Traction Honley Brass Band.

Kamal , an optometrist, worked for Valli  for four years and according to  Valli owner , Moin Valli,  was a popular staff member,  loved not just  by his colleagues,  but clients too. Mr Valli  hopes  clients and  members  of the Huddersfield  community will rally round and join the  walk too,  or give a donation at the Just Giving page set up for the  event.

So far around 100 people – including 10 members of Kamal’s family – have  signed up for the walk but organisers hope this number will treble  before the day.  Kamal took part in a `hospital marathon’ during his  stay in St James Hospital, Leeds and raised £14,000 for Bloodwise.  This figure has now reached over £30,000 thanks to donations and events held after his death by his family and friends.

“We are thrilled Valli are holding this annual walk in Kamal’s memory and  would  urge anyone reading this to come and join us. Kamal did so much  for charity so it is fitting others are now doing their bit for him,”  said his brother, Yousaf Aftab who is doing the walk.

Kamal was an active member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA)  and was shortlisted for an Examiner Community Award for his services to  the community.  He met HRH The Queen two years ago because of his  charity work and was named The Guardian newspaper  Volunteer of the Year in 2014.

The walk starts at Meltham at 9.am and finishes at Lockwood at 3pm. Walkers can do the full 10 miles or just one or two legs. Registration  is £5 and that includes a free tee-shirt and bottled water.  Valli  suppliers are sponsoring the walk .

Valli, which now has seven branches in Wakefield, Hull and Hebden Bridge, as  well as Huddersfield, hopes to raise at least £7,000 . This will be  split between Bloodwise and the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.

“The Valli Rally is one of the ways we like to give back to the community.  The dedication and commitment shown by Kamal to local causes was an  inspiration to everyone. It is in his memory that we are doing this  years walk. We have also set up the Kamal Aftab Award For Excellence at Valli  and this will be given to a member of staff each year at our annual  award ceremony,” said Mr Valli. 

Those who don’t fancy walking can simply join the walkers at the end for the  band and a cup of tea,  and hopefully make a donation.  

You can pick up a registration form at a Valli branch or contact info@valliopticians.co.uk  Or you can  make a donation online via www.justgiving.com/ValliRally2015forLeukaemia or


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